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Cat. No. CHAN 10467 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10467 - Debussy: Complete Works for Piano, Volume 3
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Available From: 01 May 2008
The music now moves to a more playful strand in Debussy’s compositional career, with generally shorter pieces of the salon genre, including the two famous collections Children’s Corner and Suite bergamasque. In addition to these well-known works are several that are more rarely heard. Two such are La plus que lente, which seems to look ahead to the Études of 1915, and Élégie. Roger Nichols describes the former as ‘one of his most delightful pieces… the harmonic turns are particularly sophisticated and enchanting’. The Élégie was written in 1915 following the composer’s move to the coast. The outbreak of the First World War had initially depressed Debussy into a state of creative sterility but the move was to prove most productive. The Élégie was written for a charity and, dedicated to Queen Alexandra, honours the role of women in wartime. It is now rarely performed but Roger Nichols writes, ‘it is one of the composer’s most extraordinary works… and we are left wondering what on earth Debussy would have written in the 1920s and beyond’.

Bavouzet’s previous two volumes have been very well received both critically and commercially. In a recent review of volume two the LA Times wrote, ‘In what may turn out to be the greatest complete recorded survey of the composer’s piano music yet, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet… plays with such bracing clarity that hearing the early Romantic pieces, one feels like jumping into an icy pond after an hour in the sauna’. Of the same volume International Record Review has noted, ‘I had the highest praise for Jean-Efflam Bavouzet’s first volume of Debussy, and the present disc is fully the equal of that one in terms of colour, refinement of touch, spontaneity and technical finish… Bavouzet has written that his Debussy playing has been influenced by that of Gieseking,

Michelangeli and Richter. You may hear something of each of these pianists in his playing but more than that you will hear his own distinctive and special voice’. This series is a deeply personal project for Bavouzet who has been involved in all aspects of the recording process.
Reviews

                      Choc de l’année 2008
Monde de la Musique Magazine

Review for the  Debussy series  CHAN 10421, 10467, 10443, 10497 & 10545
"...Debussy playing does not come any better than this, and anyone starting to collect this excellent Chandos series need not really look any further. The CDs are available separately each in turn was given a ’Gramophone Award..."

The Pengiun Guide – 1000 Greatest Classical Recordings 2011-12

… this penultimate volume featuring a masterly account of Suite Bergamasque and one of the finest Children’s Corners ever recorded
The Pianist

                Best Instrumental Recording 2009
"He has also reached his third offering and this delightful disc places Debussy’s two most modest cycles within a broadly chronological sequence of pieces spanning the composer’s career. As such it would make an excellent introduction both to the essentials of Debussy’s piano writing and the extraordinary evolution in style. Bavouzet is an engaging guide on this journey."

BBC Music Magazine

Regardless of style or pianistic requirements, Bavouzet is equally in charge of all dimensions of Debussy’s music. His acute sense of proportion covers both the rhythmic and dynamic spheres; in the Arabesque No. 1, for example, his subtle rubato shapes the flow of the piece most affectionately without ever becoming mannered. He adopts a different approach for the early danse bohémienne and Mazurka, delivering both with crisp vitality and winsome charm.
International Record Review

Popular Debussy rubs shoulders with the unfamiliar in refined, intimate and richly rewarding readings.
Classic FM Magazine

This third volume confirms Jean-Efflam Bavouzet’s winning affinity for Debussy’s music.
The Telegraph

Once more he turns the conventional notions of ‘impressionism’ topsy-turvy, cleansing Debussy of years of dust and accretion and recreating him in every bar in a sparkling and pristine light. Fiercely energised yet superfine, his performances are not for those woth comfortable drawing-room notions of Debussy, and rarely in my experience has a pianist so faultlessly or precisely achieved his aims.
Gramophone

One would expect a work like Claire de Lune to be just about perfect in the hands of such a skilled and sensitive pianist, but for him to give the same attention to the other three less familiar movements of the Suite Bergamasque places this performance among the best one could ever hope for. The same holds true for Children’s Corner, most definitely on a par with my favourite old Michelangeli recording
American Record Guide

 

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